The inventor of an unbreakable rear view truck mirror is calling for a nationwide ban on metal mirror guards, declaring that they pose a significant danger to cyclists and pedestrians.
Lillo Banetta, who invented Mirrorsafe after being hit on the back of the head by a regular truck mirror, came to this conclusion having conducted numerous tests. In one, a watermelon was struck by a metal guard-protected mirror at 27mph. The melon was dissected in what Banetta described as a “blunt force trauma”. The guard also destroyed a mid-price cycle helmet at the same speed.
“These things are a bad idea,” he declared. “Get hit on the back of the head by one and they can be lethal.”
Banetta, who believes the DVSA should demand the removal of metal guards at roadside checks, says his Mirrorsafe mirrors have been designed to protect vulnerable road users. A soft compound rubber bumper fitted to the lower portion of the mirror prevents injury if it comes into contact with the head of a cyclist or a pedestrian.
In addition to potentially saving lives, Banetta claims that the unbreakable Mirrorsafe has financial benefits for hauliers too.
“They’ll never have to pay for another mirror, or lose time waiting for replacement glass to be fitted,” he said.
Mirrorsafe, which fits most truck models, has been tested at 118mph. They have also been involved in 490 reported impacts on the UK’s roads, without a single reported breakage.
The highly visible yellow and black mirrors, which are heated and will soon incorporate a blindspot sensor too, cost roughly £150 each. But Banetta said hauliers will be able to recoup some of this expenditure by selling their old mirrors on eBay.